Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In The Soloist, an emotionally soaring drama about the redemptive power of music, journalist Steve Lopez discovers Nathaniel Anthony Ayers, a former classical music prodigy, playing his violin on the streets of L.A. As Lopez endeavors to help the homeless man find his way back, a unique friendship is formed, one that transforms both their lives. (Paramount) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. 90
    A triumphant movie about failure.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Isn't so much a story of perseverance and musical triumph as it is of despair, acceptance, and social commitment. The movie's a call to arms: We are our brothers' keepers, it says, and our brothers are in terrible shape.
  3. 75
    In the end, The Soloist isn't about BIG MOMENTS, it's about the grace notes, the kind that stay with you.
  4. 67
    You can't help but feel a connection to Downey and Foxx and, to a lesser degree, a rooting interest in the story. But try as Wright might, he never figures out a way to bring us in -- much less manipulate us -- cinematically.
  5. 63
    The problem with The Soloist is that, while Wright shows admirable restraint in dramatizing the interaction between the two principals and does not fall into the trap of following a "movie of the week" formula about mental illness, there is little emotional resonance in the story.
  6. As a drama, The Soloist is stuck before it starts.
  7. By consistently and relentlessly overplaying everything, by settling for standard easy emotions when singular and heartfelt was called for, by pushing forward when they should have pulled back, director Joe Wright and screenwriter Susannah Grant have made the story mean less, not more. Instead of enhancing The Soloist's appeal, they have come close to eliminating it.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 35
  2. Negative: 7 out of 35
  1. Feb 20, 2014
    As a cello player of 5 1/2 years, I really appreciate this movie's message and theme overall. And even with that said, the movie isn't that bad. It has its ups and downs, and sometimes the story has some holes, but the way music is portrayed in this movie is so accurate, almost capturing the true meaning of music itself. And the dramatic movie you might want as well is definitely there too, dealing with themes like addiction and rage. This is a true movie that might be a little lost sometimes, but it should find its way back into your TV so that you can watch it for yourself. Expand
  2. Sep 19, 2010
    In what had the conceptual, talent and makings of a fantastic movie, this film loses its way about halfway through and teeters back and forth until the viewer moves from wanting the story to go the way it is leading, to the viewer just wanting it to end. Fortunately, the movie does pick up toward the last half hour. The actual ending is very sweet and probably more realistic than the Hollywood ending it could have had. At the very least, this movie is a snapshot of the plight of homeless people and the fact that each one is unique, with their own story and are worthy of respect as human beings. Expand
  3. Sep 27, 2011
    The story might not know where the hell its going, but "The Soloist" at least succeeds in showing powerful performances of Jamie Foxx and Robert Downey Jr. Expand
  4. Jan 26, 2011
    If not for the actors selling there roles The Soloist would have been a complete flop. Other than Foxx and Downey Jr. The Soloist has nothing going for it. The extremely unfocused film leaves its viewers wondering what the point of it was (Craziness has no cure? Homelessness is a personal choice? Homelessness is a problem everyone needs to be involved in? Classical music is under appreciated in society?)? The Soloist is slow and never really packs any sort of punch or sentimental moment and spends to much time building up a storyline with no real clear cut point, which is essential in a movie or better said character study such as this. Expand
  5. Feb 24, 2013
    I strongly disliked this film. It tells the story a story of a journalist (Downey Jr.) who meets a mentally ill musician (Foxx) and begins to build a relationship with him, however, I never fully understood why Downey Jr's character wanted to help him in the first place. Therefore this film was impossible for me to connect with because I didn't care for either of the main characters. Joe Wright is a great director, but this film just didn't do it for me. Expand

See all 35 User Reviews